Art & Design - MRes/PgC Res


Key Facts

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Art & Design

Course Length:
12 or 18 months full-time
24 months part-time

25% Alumni Discount:
The Cardiff Metropolitan University Alumni Discount is a 25 per cent reduction in tuition fees for Cardiff Met Alumni enrolling on taught postgraduate courses.
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Course Overview

The MRes (A&D), Master of Research in Art & Design, is ideal for students who want to prepare for doctoral level research in Art & Design (PhD or DProf) or to develop a range of creative research skills to enhance their art or design practice or career, nationally and internationally.

The programme is designed to be is suitable for students who have some experience of research in Art & Design and also those with little or no background experience of research at all from any field.

Cardiff School of Art & Design has creative research at its heart, and is home to a range of centres and groups engaged in cutting-edge, world-leading creative and transdisciplinary research.

We draw upon the Arts, Sciences, Humanities and Philosophies and deploy a range of facilities including our Perceptual Experience Laboratory (PEL), our MIT-FabLab as well as our extensive traditional and contemporary maker's workshops, specialist studios and digital technologies.

The School encourages multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaborations with other research disciplines as well as commercial and community sectors in society anywhere in the world and of course, the other research centres across the wider University.

The University was rated as the top Modern University in the most recent UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) review.

More information on CSAD's research activities can be found in the links below:  

    Course Content

    The MRes (A&D) is project led. Students identify a research topic and question/s and build upon that, whilst learning a range of research methods and by testing their ideas in a supportive but rigorous community of artist and designer researchers. The course starts with no preconception whatsoever with regards to where students projects might start or how they might develop and has an open mind with regard to the possibilities of creative research practices in Art & Design.

    Our world leading research expertise in Cardiff School of Art & Design, which range from the empirical and scientific to the poetic and speculative. draws upon the Arts, Sciences, Humanities and Philosophies. We make full use of our Perceptual Experience Laboratory (PEL), our MIT-FabLab as well as our extensive range of artefact and image making workshops, specialist studios and our traditional and digital technologies. We encourage projects that seek to work in a multidisciplinary, co-disciplinary or transdisciplinary way with other research disciplines as well as commercial and community sectors in society anywhere in the world and of course the other research centres across the wider University.

    The programme length is three semesters full-time and six semesters part-time. Each of the credited modules runs for one semester.

    • October to January: Semester One – Research Territories
    • February to April: Semester Two – Research Skills
    • May to September: Semester Three – Research Output

    or for (full-time students only) an option is offered.

    • October to January: Semester Three – Research Output

    Full time students, may or may not choose to include a break during the Summer. Students may use this period as they see fit for family time or a vacation, personal research, work experience or to return to employment. Thus, a full-time student starting the programme in October may complete either the following September (by continuing the programme through July and August, 12 months duration) or the following January (when a break is taken over the Summer period, 18 month duration).

    UK/EU students must notify the programme and school of their intentions prior to commencing the ‘Research Output’ module in semester three.

    Students from outside of the UK/EU must notify the Programme, School and International Office prior to initial visa application.

    First Semester ART7111 - Students begin by undertaking a module that is designed to orientate them around a research idea and territory, to develop their ability to focus and also to develop their self-confidence with art and design research in its many forms. The module is closely taught and supervised around a series of seminars that are conducted in a spirit of open intellectual generosity and rigorous interrogation of ideas. By the end of the module students will have a clear sense of their research, its feasibility and their place in its developing ‘territory’.

    Second Semester - Students then undertake a specialised Research Skills module in the second semester, embedding them more thoroughly and rigorously within a research route. The research skills training the MRes (A&D) programme offers is designed with students from varied backgrounds in mind. Besides being suitable for students who already have some experience of research in Art & Design, perhaps at undergraduate level, the programme has been designed to welcome a wider, global, community. By the end of the module students will have gained the research expertise to underpin their ideas with a clear method of research as well as the skills to interrogate ideas and data.

    Third Semester - Students conclude the programme by undertaking a final module which enables them to develop a brief research thesis (in the form of a text supporting a body of practice and/or a text) as well a draft proposal for a generic initial, research degree scoping proposal at Cardiff Met or any other University. At the end of this module students will have a clear sense of their potential future as a research degree student.

    Semester One and Two – A single 0 credited module runs alongside the other modules it provides a series research and Ideas seminars. The content of this module is determined by the research activity of CSAD staff. Staff and PhD, DProf students elect to run a series of seminars, based on their research in art and design, and which will invite further enquiry from students, underpinned by specific theoretical and historical material. Each speaker is invited to share their research work for 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of formal Q&A and then informal discussions.

    Learning & Teaching

    The programme is designed to be an enriching and rigorous student centred learning experience, orientated around personalised tutorial support and guidance. The course is collaborative, intellectually generous and supportive and designed to provide students with an opportunity to engage in thoughtful and sustained reflection, scholarship and focus as well as an opportunity for speculative exploration and inquisitive enquiry.

    The programme will accommodate all types of directed and speculative art & design research. It is designed to enable future doctoral expertise orientated around the development of a research expertise in Art, Design and Architecture. In keeping with the School’s approach to research, the programme will not specifically distinguish between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ as modes of research but will take a holistic, broad and inclusive – yet ultimately rigorous - approach to research skills development oriented around – the best way to answer the identified research question. Students taking the programme can align with specific research and experimental practice pathways, led by academic staff with established practice careers and/or advanced scholarship and research.

    The programme is taught primarily through seminar with individualised supervisory meetings to develop a research plan (part of the early PDP process) and an individualised programme of learning and individualised supervision towards a creative research outcome, defined and monitored by robust PDP. There will be research lectures.


    All credited modules are assessed via a ‘portfolio’ comprising coursework, including text and presentation, viva-voce and practice if appropriate and as detailed in the module description, handbook and briefing documentation.

    The portfolio assessment is critical to Masters level assessment in Art & Design and is a long-established and widely used methodology in that field. The portfolio assessment is familiar to undergraduate students and has been used for some years in the other programmes in the school of Art and Design and has proved very successful. The portfolio assessment is designed with the transdisciplinary and inter-disciplinary nature of Art and Design practice and research in mind. Art and Design research commonly combines textual material with creative practice in varying amounts, accordingly the portfolio assessment consists of a combination of:

    • Academic text
    • Speculative text
    • Directed text (i.e. Research Proposal)
    • Practice
    • Viva Voce
    • Presentation
    • Exhibition

    These items are not assessed as individual items but taken as a body of work in a single ‘portfolio’ assessment to arrive at a single summative mark. It is the responsibility of the student to reflect upon what it is necessary for them to present in their portfolio in order to meet the learning outcomes and to ensure in their viva voce that they can convey critical insight and depth of knowledge in the connectivity and coherence between the various forms of text-practice-presentation-exhibition.

    Employability & Careers

    A postgraduate qualifications in Art and/or Design research this programme provides an excellent foundation for a career in creative research, as an arts professional who undertakes any form of research driven practice in their field, or for anyone planning to go on to complete a PhD or DProf. The programme is ideal for students who want to prepare for doctoral level research in Art & Design or to develop a range of creative research skills in order to enhance their practice or career, nationally and internationally.

    The MRes (A&D) concludes with the development of a Personal Research Development Plan. This is intended to provide evidence of students’ Mastery of research in Art & Design as well as provide a document that can be useful when applying for future Doctoral study at any University

    Entry Requirements & How to Apply

    A good undergraduate honours degree (2.1 or above) is normally required for entry. However, applicants with relevant professional experience or qualifications are welcomed and will be considered individually and students who have a weaker overall undergraduate degree but who have demonstrated excellence in the theoretical aspects of Art & Design will also be considered.

    International Applicants
    Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 (6.0 listening and 5.5 in each other element) standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

    Selection Procedure:
    Once a student application has been received they may be invited in person or by Skype (or similar) for a short meeting with the Programme Director or nominee to discuss the programme in more detail and consider how the programme will suit their background and future needs.

    How to Apply:
    Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

    Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), are asked to contact Dr Fiaz Hussain: to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us.

    If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

    Additional Information

    Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
    For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer

    Part-time fees:
    Charges are per Single Module unless specified: Undergraduate = 10 Credits; Postgraduate = 20 Credits Generally we find most students will complete 60 credits per year for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate study; to obtain a true costing please clarify this by contacting the Programme Director directly.

    Contact Us

    For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

    If you are a UK/EU student please contact Dr Stephen Thompson:
    Or if you are an International student please contact Dr Fiaz Hussain:

    Full terms & conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting